This week I really ought to be buying presents and writing Christmas cards not fiddling about on the boat and blogging but, well, you have to have some time to play!
Anyway I just figured out that if I get a bargain pack of charity cards at £3.95 I have to buy £5.50 worth of second class stamps to send them! As the good lady in the charity shop said that is 11 shillings for each stamp! Second class, they ought to be ruddy perfect for that.
Anyway that was enough of a deterrent from Christmastide activities to justify playing with the boat today.
When I went away last week no frost was forecast, so no need to drain the domestic water system to protect it from freezing. The morning that I went away we had the first of eight frosty nights, which is why I was eager to see what, if any, damage had been done. The boat has a shower, two sinks, a toilet, a hot water cylinder, a gas water heater and a pump, any of which can be damaged by ice formation.
I have rigged the plumbing to enable the water to be pumped out and replaced with air in a few minutes to protect all these items. Therefore I would have drained it down before the frosts were forecast.
While I’m on the subject I must just describe the simple addition I made last year. Because the hot water cylinder is only heated from the engine I put in a gas water heater for when I am moored for more than a few days. All you have to do to switch from the cylinder to the heater is close valves A,B and C and open valves D, E and F. Of course once cruising again you should close valves D,E and F and open valves A, B and C. However is the tank is fairly warm but not hot enough for a shower you can divert it to the heater by closing valves C and D and opening valves A,B, E and F. When laying the boat up for winter you close valve F and open valves A, B, C, D and E, or was that close valve A and open valves B, C, D E and F? Anyway like I said, simple. I must label them too.
Well getting back to this afternoon I was pleased to find that there was still residual water pressure in the system and that the pump and all valves worked. So it had not been damaged by ice.
Therefore I closed valve C opened valve G and H ( sorry, I forgot to introduce you to those two) and pumped air in and water out of the system. Lovely job, just forgot to wash up first, it’ll have to wait until next time.